In a wide-ranging campaign in the Sinai Peninsula where the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for "ISIS" / "ISIL"] group has been waging a deadly insurgency, Egypt's military said on Tuesday it had killed more than 40 extremists.
The announcement came a day after seven civilians were killed in a foiled attack on a checkpoint with an explosives-laden car.
An army tank had intercepted the vehicle and driven over it, almost flattening it, before the explosives went off, according to a video released by the army.
The Daesh group had waged deadly attacks on the military and police, most recently on a checkpoint in Sinai on July 7 that killed at least 21 soldiers.
But the military, which killed the leader of the group's affiliate in Egypt last year, said it is closing in on the jihadists.
It said in a statement on Tuesday that "40 extremists" had been killed in the week-long campaign against the militants.
A military source told AFP that soldiers were staying put in locations they cleared of the militants, rather than withdrawing as in past campaigns.
"After storming terrorist hideouts, the soldiers are staying there," the source, who requested anonymity, told AFP.
"The terrorist elements are fleeing and leaving their weapons behind," he added.
Militants launched an insurgency in Sinai after the military overthrew the divisive Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
They had maintained a steady war of attrition with sniper attacks and roadside bombings.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team